Watch Moon's 'Occultation' on Tuesday Night As It Celebrates with Halloween

By Cristina Limpiada | Oct 22, 2016 06:22 AM EDT
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This moon's "occultation" will be witnessed on Tuesday night, so for lucky areas along the United States of America, buy and prepare your telescope and binoculars in this once in a lifetime event.

This may sound spooky. Hence Halloween is coming, the moon also celebrates as it plays hide and seek with one of the brightest stars among the heavenly bodies. According to KSDK, this is not just an ordinary eclipse of meteor shower because a lunar occultation occurs when a passes in front of a promising bright star in the universe.

This occultation is expected to be witnessed on Tuesday night particularly in the United States with Aldebaran, which is known as one of the brightest and most colorful stars in the sky. Furthermore, the said occultation of the moon with star Aldebaran is either classified as "total" or "grazing."

When it happens to be a "total" occultation, this will be a matter wherein the star will vanish behind the moon and then reappears in an hour or so later. If this becomes possible, it will dominate most of the eastern and southern U.S.

Meanwhile, when a "grazing" occultation happens, the star appears to slide right along the edge of the moon. "You'll probably see Aldebaran disappear and reappear several times in the darkness just barely off the moon's dazzling sublit north polar region," according to some notes of Sky and Telescope.

As reported by NPR, large portions of the South and the Northeastern United States will be lucky enough to witness the "grazing" occultation as it will find itself visible in those areas as well as the Mexico, the Caribbean and some parts of Canada. "The most impressive views will be from a strip of land only a few hundred yards wide along the occultation's northern limit."

The graze line where the "grazing" occultation will visibly witness are areas which include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Minneapolis and Sioux Falls. If you are located in these regions but finds it hard to see Aldebaran as it passes through the moon in the lunar occultation, try covering the moon with your finger.

The gigantic Aldebaran occultations happen only once per lunar month that began in January 2015 and will end in September 2018, however, the next occultation of star Aldebaran won't occur until 2033. Citizens who are lucky enough to witness the event, don't miss this chance or else, you'll have to wait until 2033. 

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